The First Year of the Budget of the United States

The First Year of the Budget of the United States

The First Year of the Budget of the United States

The First Year of the Budget of the United States


As Chief of Supply Procurement in the American Expeditionary Forces, under a general plan whose principles were established by General Pershing, I superimposed in France, under his direction, a system of business co-ordination over the decentralized services of the army. It was because of this experience that I felt justified in assuming an analogous task under President Harding to inaugurate a system of co-ordinating business control over the various departments and independent establishments of government which, for one hundred and thirty-two years, have been almost completely decentralized.

During my incumbency of the office of Director of the Bureau of the Budget, it was my custom, as it was in the army, to make contemporaneous notes of the progress of the work and the development of the plans. The present publication of these notes, in conjunction with my official orders and statements, gives a much clearer picture of what was done and the reasons therefor than it would be possible to draw after the fact.

This book outlines two distinct but correlated accomplishments:

First, The revision of the estimates and the presentation of the Budget to Congress under the provisions of the Budget law.

Second, The reorganization of the routine business of government through the use by the President of the Budget bureau as an agency of executive pressure, and the creation by executive orders of co-ordinating machinery out of the body of the existing business organization.

Since in the contemporaneous notes here published, reference is made from day to day to steps taken and situations existing with reference to both efforts, it is suggested that the reader give special attention to my official report, starting on page 100, transmitted December 5, 1921, by the President to Congress, in which the lines of work are separately discussed and clearly defined.

This book cannot but impress upon the mind of the intelligent reader that in government business as in private business constant executive attention under plan and policy finds itself . . .

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